The Pop'n'Pop FAQ v1.1 Last updated 14 March 2000. Maintained by Carl Chavez (email@example.com). Get the latest version at www.bubandbob.com. ---------------------- I DON'T KNOW HOW TO READ JAPANESE, SO NEARLY EVERYTHING HERE IS BASED ON OBSERVATION AND PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE. IF YOU CAN READ JAPANESE AND KNOW I'VE MADE A MISTAKE, PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH THE CORRECTION! ---------------------- 1. What is Pop'n'Pop? 2. Who are the characters, and what are their powers? 3. What are the selections in the main menu? 4. What are the selections in the options menu? 5. What are the selections in the game menu (when you press START during a game)? 6. How do you play the game? a. What are the basic rules? b. What is a combo? How do you perform a "quick" combo? c. What are the special items? 7. Who and what are the bosses? 8. How do you beat [a level] in the puzzle mode? 9. How do run Pop'n'Pop on PSEmu Pro and Bleem!? 10. CREDITS ---------------------- 1. What is Pop'n'Pop? ---------------------- 2. Who are the characters, and what are their powers? The 1-player controller's character is first, the 2nd controller's character is in parentheses. All characters have "familiars", who play for your chosen character by carrying the balloons and releasing them toward the clouds. They also have a special item that appears more often than other special items when playing. In versus mode, when a combo is performed they also have a special attack pattern for balloons that appear on the other player's side. Bub the dragon (Bob) - the main characters in Bubble Bobble and many other games. May actually be called Bubblen and Bobblen, which are the names of the Puzzle Bobble 4 dragons, since the human forms of Bub and Bob are already in the game. FAMILIAR: Monsta YEAR OF FIRST APPEARANCE: 1986 (Bubble Bobble) SPECIAL POWER ITEM: up arrow ATTACK: green-blue-green-blue-green Bub the boy (Bob) - the main characters in Rainbow Islands and Parasol Stars. FAMILIAR: Monsta YEAR OF FIRST APPEARANCE: 1987 (Rainbow Islands) (well, technically the end of Bubble Bobble is the first appearance, but Bub the boy was first playable in Rainbow Islands). SPECIAL POWER ITEM: up arrow ATTACK: green-blue-green-blue-green Bob (Don) - From Don Doko Don, a game on the PC Engine and arcades. No relation to Bob the dragon or Bob the boy. FAMILIAR: Mushroom YEAR OF FIRST APPEARANCE: 1989 SPECIAL POWER ITEM: hammer ATTACK: red-lightning-red-lightning-red Tiki (girlfriend) - From New Zealand Story, the first game I know of which glorified vehicle theft. Tiki doesn't get to use any cool flying saucers or armored blimps, but the balloons used in Pop'n'Pop look remarkably like the balloons Tiki would sometimes hijack from spear-toting hoodlums. Tiki's special power is the "arrow". Popping balloons next to the arrow causes the arrow to fly upward and pop all balloons in its path. FAMILIAR: Little kiwi YEAR OF FIRST APPEARANCE: 1988 SPECIAL POWER ITEM: magic arrow ATTACK: water-blue-water-green-water Sayo Chan/Pocky (Sayo Chan/Pocky, should've been Rocky the raccoon) - From the Kiki Kaikai/Pocky and Rocky series. Her special power is her paper flag. FAMILIAR: Ghost (Kami) YEAR OF FIRST APPEARANCE: 1986 SPECIAL POWER ITEM: paper flag ATTACK: lightning-lightning-lightning-lightning-lightning Ptolemy (Ptolemy) - From Fairyland Story, a 1985 game with very challenging puzzles. Many bonus items and powerups from Bubble Bobble first appeared in Fairyland Story. FAMILIAR: Dragon YEAR OF FIRST APPEARANCE: 1985 SPECIAL POWER ITEM: star ATTACK: blue-green-red-brown-yellow HIDDEN: Chackn Pop (girlfriend) - the oldest ancestor of all Bubble Bobble games. He appeared in his own game in 1984, along with mightas and monstas. He still makes cameos in other Taito games such as the Puzzle Bobble series. FAMILIAR: Mighta YEAR OF FIRST APPEARANCE: 1984 SPECIAL POWER ITEM: bomb ATTACK: yellow-yellow-yellow-yellow-yellow HIDDEN: Hipopo (girlfriend) - From Liquid Kids/Mizubaku Adventure. FAMILIAR: Crustacean from the water level of Liquid Kids. YEAR OF FIRST APPEARANCE: 1990 SPECIAL POWER ITEM: water ATTACK: water-water-water-water-water HIDDEN: Drunk (red drunk) - Enters the level using his Darius battlesuit from Puzzle Bobble 2. FAMILIAR: Skel YEAR OF FIRST APPEARANCE: 1986 (Bubble Bobble) SPECIAL POWER ITEM: paintbrush ATTACK: ?-?-?-?-? NON-PLAYER CHARACTER: Princess - From Don Doko Don. In Don Doko Don, she's (ahem) kidnapped by flying cows (?!) and trapped in a bubble-like thing. It's a very weird game... anyway, she's recruiting the Taito characters to save the world. ---------------------- 3. What are the selections in the main menu? From top to bottom, they are: Story mode Play through your choice of branching levels, facing a boss after every fifth level. Recover something for the princess from "Don Doko Don". Beating this allows you to use Chackn. 1-player vs. computer "versus mode" Beating this allows you to use Hipopo. 2-player "versus mode" Test mode The screen is split in half like a 2-player game, but you have to play it as a 1-player game. You manage both sides and try to ensure neither set of balloons touches the boundary. Once you lose, the princess will give you a rating based on how well you played. Training mode Simple tutorial about the game. Puzzle mode There are 100 puzzles here. Each must be solved with the given balloon pairs. Each puzzle can be solved in one to four shots. Can you figure out each one? Beating this allows you to use Drunk. Options Change difficulty and other settings. You may also launch the train simulation demo or the G-Darius movie here. ---------------------- 4. What are the available options in the options menu? -The first option seems to be difficulty. The left one is easy, and the right one is hard. -The second allows you to choose from either best of 1, 3, or 5 rounds in the versus mode. -I'm not sure what the third does. -The fourth option is a background music selector. -The fifth may control the sound type (mono/stereo/surround), as it reminds me of that control in Bubble Symphony (Saturn version). -You can change your controller configuration with the sixth option. -The seventh option is for saving or loading the game status from the memory card. Once you beat a game mode, you free a secret character, and by loading the game status you can use the secret characters anytime. -The eighth option launches the train simulator demo "[something]GO! 2". -The last option lets you pick between "G-Darius" and "[something]GO!". When you choose it, it launches a movie about that game. ---------------------- 5. What are the selections in the game menu (when you press START during a game)? The first item, "EXIT", lets you continue playing. The second item lets you reposition the screen with the D-pad after you select it. The last item quits the game. ---------------------- 6. How do you play the game? a. What are the basic rules? "Puzzle Bobble meets Space Invaders". A collection of balloons are attached to clouds. The clouds move across the screen. When a column of balloons touches the edge of the screen, the clouds move down one level. You control a familiar for your character, not your character him/herself. The familiar can release pairs of balloons towards the clouds. If a group of at least three similarly-colored balloons touch each other, they pop! The goal of the game is to clear the screen of all balloons. If the balloons do not touch the clouds, they continue up to the top of the screen and disappear. As a penalty, the clouds will temporarily speed up. You usually don't want to miss the clouds, but sometimes it's a aood idea to. Any balloons below balloons that pop move upward. You can create combos by causing balloons to move up and form new similarly-colored groups of balloons, which will then pop too. b. What is a combo? A combo occurs when you pop some balloons, and the balloons below the ones just popped drift up and pop more balloons. In story mode, a combo stuns a boss for a short time. In versus mode, a combo causes extra balloons to appear on the other player's side. In test mode, I think a combo improves your final grade. In all modes, you get more points from combos than from standard pops. Combos make beating bosses much easier. When you perform a combo, the boss becomes temporarily stunned. Always try to make combos against the bosses so you have a little more time to clear the balloons from a level. If you're fast enough, you can create "quick" combos! You can still move your familiar and fire balloons while other balloons are popping, so any groups you pop while others are popping count toward your combo count. For example, say you have this configuration: RRRB Familiar holding RB, next is GG B G You could get a standard 2-group combo by turning firing RB vertically: RRRB Familiar now holding GG RB BG The four Rs pop, then the three Bs. You can get rid of the Gs by firing the GG afterward. If you're quick enough, fire the Gs while the Rs and Bs are popping. Then you get something like this: XX where x are popping blue balloons (the reds have X already popped in this example) G G G That way you get a three-group combo. This skill is extremely useful Against bosses, since you can get combos much more often by being quick. Unfortunately, this method of getting a quick combo does not work in the arcade version. It only works in the Playstation version. Creating big combos (at least three pops) also causes a powerup related to your character to appear. Combos can really help you clear levels quickly. For example, if you're Ptolemy and you get a big combo, you can get the Star powerup. The Star powerup causes rainbow balloons to appear for several seconds! c. What are the special items? RAINBOW - This is the wildcard balloon. MAGIC ARROW - On contact with any other balloon, it pops, the arrow escapes, flies up and pops all balloons above it. HAMMER - On contact with any other balloon, it pops and and two hammers fly out sideways. These hammers pop all balloons in their path. If it is already on the level, it will pop when an adjacent balloon group is popped. PAPER FLAG - On contact with any other balloon, it pops all balloons of the same color as the one above the paper flag. STAR - On contact with any other balloon, it causes the sun to come out, like in Fairyland Story. Unlike Fairyland Story, your enemies don't turn into cupcakes. Instead, every pair of balloons you get will consist of one colored balloon and one *rainbow* balloon for as long as the sun is out. This is the best powerup, and makes Ptolemy the best character! WATER - pops all balloons to the left and right of the water bubble. BOMB - destroys all balloons in a two-balloon radius (one-balloon radius for the diagonal) surrounding the bomb. UP ARROW - It is assigned a random color. When you use it as part of a popped group, it will pop and cause the cloud it was connected to to move up one level. CLOCK - It is assigned a random color. When you use it as part of a popped group, it will pop and cause time to stop for a few seconds. CAUTION: The clouds will stop moving, but bosses will continue to move and shoot! LIGHTNING - Pops when an adjacent group pops. One demon appears in the clouds and throws a projectile at you for every lightning balloon you pop. If you're hit, you release the balloons you're holding. PAINTBRUSH - Paints a lot of bubbles as the same color. This is what makes the drunk so darn tough to beat. ---------------------- 7. Who and what are the bosses? All bosses will walk back and forth on top of the clouds. Every so often the boss will jump and land on the cloud, causing the cloud to drop down one level. This pushes all balloons attached to the cloud to move down, too. You can temporarily stun a boss by popping a combo. Remember that the "quick" combos are very useful (but only work on the Playstation)! If a boss hits your familiar with a projectile, your familiar will release the balloons it holds. This can be VERY BAD, but at least your familiar doesn't die... World A - Zen Chan/Bubble Buster (Bubble Bobble and many other games) The Bubble Buster just has the basic boss behavior. When you beat it, it breaks into pieces. World B,C - Pig Archer (New Zealand Story) The Pig Archer fires arrows down toward your familiar. When you beat it, it turns into a pigpile. World D - Rocky (Kiki Kaikai 2/Pocky and Rocky and sequels) ??? - I don't remember what Rocky does. World G,F,E - Manuke (Kiki Kaikai 3/Pocky and Rocky 2, Bubble Symphony) Manuke, a magic melding of Sayo Chan (Pocky) and Rocky the raccoon, throws three cards in a spread pattern. World J - Gacchan (Puzzle Bobble 2, Bubble Memories) ??? - I don't remember what Gacchan does. World O - Wally Walrus (New Zealand Story) Wally is packing some artillery this time around. He wears two rocket Launchers on his blubbery back and launches two rockets straight down at you. World U - King Cow (Don Doko Don) The King Cow summons four magical bolts straight down toward you. When you beat the King Cow, it becomes a human king who holds his head like he was under mind control. World "?" - After beating the last world in the tree, you uncover a "?". Go there, and beat the next three levels. The final boss is the Super Dark Great Dragon from Bubble Memories and Rainbow Islands. When you beat him, you have to fight him again as a Skel. As Super Dark Great Dragon, he shoots several laser beams you have to dodge. As Skel, he lowers EVERY cloud when he "jumps", not just one. You have to beat Skel quickly! ---------------------- 8. How do you beat [level] in the puzzle mode? TO BE COMPLETED Level 99 - 1. Y-P onto bottom 2. Y-P onto bottom next to previous Y-P 3. Y onto last low column, P should break off. Lands next to two Ps, pops everything. ---------------------- 9. How do run Pop'n'Pop on PSEmu Pro and Bleem!? Pop'n'Pop will run on PSEmu Pro v1.04 and up. Through experimentation, I have determined the following setup to work best: Enable MDEC Skipping: checked Disable XDA Read: checked (if unchecked, music will play if you also uncheck Disable XA Decode. The music is buggy, though) Graphics Processing Unit: Lewpy's 3dfx Glide3 Renderer v1.14 got the fastest performance, but if you don't have a Voodoo1/2 then try Kazzuya Software Rendering Driver v1.1, which allows screenshots. Sound Processing Unit: Kazzuya DirectSound Audio Driver v0.7 runs faster and more accurately than the SEAL v0.6 driver. Turn sound off for better performance if you have a slow computer (less than PII-233?). CD-ROM: I have an IDE CD-ROM, and I use ASPI Driver 1.2. I think it's faster if you have a SCSI drive, but I haven't tested that. After the Taito logo comes up and the screen goes black, you will have to wait a while for the Pop'n'Pop title screen to appear. During this period, hit F1 a few times to skip an MDEC. If you don't do this, then every level will take a long time to load. If you do skip the MDEC, then every level will load very quickly. All testing was performed on a PII-300 with 128MB RAM, IDE CD-ROM, Riva 128 2D/3D board and 12MB Voodoo2 3D board, and Soundblaster PCI 64. The game runs at full speed on this system. It has a TNT and it appears to work fine on that board. 13 March 2000: tested with Bleem! on 550mhz Athlon/128MB RAM/TNT2 video/SB Live! Plays too quickly. Nearly unplayable at higher levels. ---------------------- 10. CREDITS ---------------------- -Taito for the fun games, and Zuntata for the first-rate music. -Bobby Conover at www.intensepsx.com for first telling me about the game and explaining parts of it before I had seen it. -Anthony Greulich, for the usual screaming sessions of ours during this and every other cute Taito game. This document is copyright (C) 1998, 2000 Carl Chavez. This FAQ may be distributed freely for non-commercial use. It may not be sold for profit. It may not be published in any commercial magazine (such as Electronic Gaming Monthly) or stored on a commercial website (such as COP-DN) without permission. Permission is explicitly granted to www.gamefaqs.com to store this FAQ.